You will forget everything… especially what you didn’t really learn
|Image: All Rights Reserved|
|New York : Farrar Straus Giroux|
It was noisy and crowded in the cabin, in other words not a great place to talk about serious things, but Dad persisted. “How’s James?” Dad asked.
Truthfully, I hadn’t thought of James at all. I hadn’t had time—not with Dad’s wedding and Will’s sickness and Will and my photography and tennis and yearbook.
It was strange, really. A couple months ago, I had thought I couldn’t live without him.
Apparently, I could.
That I could forget him so easily, more than the loss of James himself, made me melancholy, I guess. I wondered if my Mom had felt that way about Dad when she met Nigel again. I wondered if my biological mother had felt that way about my biological father, and even about me when she’d had to give me up.
“I don’t see him much,” I said to Dad finally.
“It happens, baby.” Dad nodded and patted me on the hand, and then he read my mind. “You forget all of it anyway. First, you forget everything you learned—…
You especially forget everything you didn’t really learn, but just memorized the night before. You forget the names of all but one or two of your teachers, and eventually you’ll forget those, you forget the lyrics to that song you must have played a million times. For me, it was something by Simon & Garfunkel. Who knows what it will be for you? And eventually, but slowly, oh so slowly, you forget your humiliations—even the ones that seemed indelible just fade away. You forget who was cool and who was not, who was pretty, smart, athletic, and not. Who went to a good college. Who threw the best parties. Who could get you pot. You forget all of them. Even the ones you said you loved, and even the ones you actually did. They’re the last to go. And then once you’ve forgotten enough, you love someone else.”
Extract from the book Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
By Gabrielle Zevin
All Rights Reserved
New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, c2007.
Call Number: Y English ZEN
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Can you really forget the things that matter to you?
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